| Funding

IRU Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into the Medicare Levy Amendment (National Disability Insurance Scheme Funding) Bill 2017 and 10 related bills

Key recommendation to the Committee
The IRU strongly opposes the abolition of the Education Investment Funds (EIF). The EIF is the only Commonwealth investment in research and education infrastructure in the Higher Education sector. To remove these funds would stifle and ultimately regress Australia’s research system and be particularly deleterious for regional research and education capacity.
The withdrawal of these funds, would signal to the university sector and the community, a Government prepared to accept an ad hoc and under-resourced higher education and research system.
The EIF should be retained for its original and intended purpose to provide vital funds for research and higher education infrastructure. Whilst the IRU supports the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) being adequately funded, it cannot come at the cost of stemming essential and future-proofing infrastructure investment.

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Conclusion

The EIF should be retained for vital investment in higher education and research infrastructure. To abolish this fund would damage the nation’s education and research capability and innovation momentum now and into the future. It would be a short-sighted act with long-term adverse consequences.

The key to Australia positioning itself as an innovation driven knowledge economy, hinges on our capacity to deliver world-class research and innovation. Without new and expanding infrastructure our university sector will lose touch internationally diminishing our return from global knowledge development.

Download full submission (4pages).